It's almost Thanksgiving time and there are of course several ways to cook a turkey.  Many people like my dad still prefer the traditional oven roasted turkey, which if done right is delicious.

 

Gaining popularity over the last few years has been smoking them, or cooking on a pellet grill.  Of course, you can also deep fry one, which if you haven't had it that way, I can tell you it's incredible.

With a properly deep fried turkey you get a nice crisp outer skin and tender juicy meat inside.  Every year however, there are many fire department calls because of cooking fires, and it usually involves someone deep frying a turkey.  I personally know someone who ended up in the hospital last year with hot oil burns, and it was not any fun for them.

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So how do you keep safe when deep frying that delicious bird?  My thoughts are all based on doing it outside, not inside, but the general principles are the same.

THAW THE BIRD COMPLETELY:

You might think it's not a big deal if it's not completely thawed out, but it is.  The problem being that any ice or even minor frozen crystals can violently react with the hot oil.  That ice turns to a steam which needs room in the oil and it can explode over.  That explosion of hot oil can cause burns, and possibly even a fire if it hits your open propane flame.  That being said, water and oil don't mix well either, so make sure you pat the thawed bird dry both inside and out.  You can check out a video below of the Duluth Minnesota Fire Department showing what can happen when things go bad.

KEEP YOUR IDIOT FRIENDS AWAY:

We've all been doing the BBQ thing and had that drunk idiot friend...or family member, getting too involved in what they shouldn't.  So if you have that person over while attempting to make a deep fried main course, find something else to distract them when placing the bird in the fryer or getting it out.  One person should be lowering the bird in, and if someone wants to film it, make sure they stay back.

WEAR PPE:

For those not in the know, PPE stands for "Personal Protective Equipment".  Think long sleeves, good gloves, and maybe even go as far as a face shield.  PPE should be your last line of defense though, so note the steps above and get those ducks in a row first.

HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY: 

Sometimes even when you prepare properly, accidents still can happen.  Having that extinguisher close by and maybe even someone designated to be in charge of it if things do go sideways could be a life saver.  It may even be a home saver if a deep frying accident catches your house or garage on fire.

That's the basics for keeping safe when deep frying that holiday bird.  If you are looking for recipes, I would suggest checking out this one HERE.